Recently, The Examiner published an online article entitled Racism at Bass Pro Shop: A White Man’s Burden: The Story of Jorge Moran that recounts Mr. Moran’s experience with allegedly encountering racism by one of the store’s employees while shopping one day at the Bass Pro Shop. Shocked and outraged by the alleged incident that wasn’t directed at him personally but seemingly whispered to him as if he was a co-conspirator in a racist agenda; he proceeds to ensure that other customers and employees are briefed on what had transpired. The article also describes actions that Mr. Moran chose to address with this injustice, some of his views on racism, and ends with a 7 step path that advises white folks on how to embrace “White Racial Responsibility“. So folks, we can all now smoke the peace pipe while celebrating another victorious battle won in the fight against racism.
Except, that while reading the article I couldn’t help but envision Mr. Moran pull a quick change from ordinary civilian clothes to a red and blue spandex suit with an “S” on his chest and a flowing red cape fluttering from the air coming out of the store vents. He confronts the youthful and beautiful villainess (because unlike Kryptonite, he’s impervious to her age and good looks), along with her evil henchmen and head villainess and imposes a just sentence of threatening to call corporate headquarters for their crimes (and by bringing public awareness to the situation). In doing so, he rescues the poor, helpless black customers and employees that because of him, now have hope, a voice and most importantly, a savior.
However, in my opinion, Mr. Moran stands in a line with other so-called white saviors that seek to address racism by putting on another yet “heroic” white face because for some reason people just don’t understand the magnitude and injustice of racism without a white face to validate the existence of racism within our society or to be able to put it into perspective. Along the way, we seem to forget those faces that have worked hard to battle these injustices. Faces that aren’t necessarily famous. Faces that endure the racism that they can’t escape everyday and their voices that are drowned and dismissed by those that have no understanding of the shame, the pain, and the struggles caused by racism.
So, dear readers because I’m a person born and raised in white privilege, I can’t write a perspective on what it’s like to endure racism. I can sympathize, try to empathize but in reality, the only perspective that I can discuss is what it’s like to be on the opposite side of the coin and the struggle of dealing with my own demons.
This following is based on a comment that I made in one of my social groups that details my emotional reaction to Mr. Moran’s “7 Steps to White Racial Responsibility“.
“1. To PUT BEHIND YOU, your years of white supremacist influence training and thought.”
Wrong. Once a person is polluted with this garbage there is no putting it behind you. It’s like an incurable disease. You can treat it and/or manage it but it’s always there, subliminally and subconsciously. It’s an addictive coping mechanism for no matter how miserable your life, no matter your mistakes, you always have someone that you can look down on or obtain a better deal in life based on the blood of innocents. Instead, one might do better to acknowledge the ignorance, the evil, the pain, the torture, the injustice of it. Keep it as a reminder. Use it to see red flags so that one can call out the bullshit in other people that thrive in racism, instead of “putting it behind you” as if it never existed.
“2. To COME TO A PLACE emotionally, intellectually and consciously free of the white bias frame in which we view people of color.”
There is no such place. One must constantly humble themselves and constantly remind themselves that racist beliefs make them inferior. One must understand that whenever one benefits from white privilege, their hands become stained with the aforementioned innocent blood. Once one is contaminated, one will never be completely free.
“3. To allow yourself to SEE the reality of the white supremacist dominated world that people of color live in and all that that reality encompasses for people of color.”
Which only comes with the two counterarguments of the above.
“4. To REACH OUT to people of color through simple, sincere and genuine friendships that is free of white supremacist notions and biases.”
How about reaching out and supporting genuine causes that seek to put an end to systematic racism? How about again HUMBLING yourself, reaching out and asking for help and guidance from the subject matter experts (here’s a hint – they aren’t white) on how you can best SERVE their causes. How about dropping the freaking red cape? Superman is dead and a white savior isn’t needed. Also, genuine friendship requires one to be honest with themselves and acknowledging that again, once contaminated, there is no complete freedom from white supremacist notions and biases. That way, the desired friend has the freedom to make their own choices and decide on whether they want to be your friend or not.
“5. To LISTEN, LEARN, AND BELIEVE what people of color tell you about their life racially in America.”
Why do others have to prove themselves to us when we are the ones in the wrong in the first damn place? This is like telling a rapist to reach out to his/her victim so that the victim can express their feelings about the rape. We KNOW that racism takes place. We just blind ourselves to it. We deny it, not just in society but in ourselves. We think that if we have friends or relatives that are black that it somehow excludes us from being racist. I support those seeking knowledge to better educate themselves and loved ones. Nor, am I saying not have an honest open discussion (which requires one to listen in the first place), but if one has to listen in order to believe then they have already failed. Perhaps, the best way to start is to ask for forgiveness, to prove the sincerity of your repentance and then, as noted above, ask for guidance on how to best make reparations for the wrongs that have been done.
“6. To ACT on your new racially unbiased truth and reality, by speaking up when you witness other whites, establishments or institutions speaking, behaving, or performing in a white supremacist manner.”
Amen, hallelujah, I have seen the light! The “new and improved racially unbiased truth and reality” is what’s blinding us to systematic racism because we falsely believe ourselves to be enlightened. One must look in the freaking mirror first, fight against the injustice in yourself before taking up arms and rushing out to do battle. There is nothing wrong in fighting against injustice but we are not heroes, we are not martyrs. This shouldn’t be going on in the first place and being “enlightened” doesn’t change a thing.
“7. To PASS ON, tell and share your new racially unbiased truth and reality, with your white friends, family and co-workers.”
Preach the gospel! Come around now so that we can all have a group hug! How about telling your family “fuck you” for poisoning you to be racist, stop making excuses, stop pretending to be Superman or Wonder Woman and tell your white friends and co-workers that are racists “fuck you” for trying to feed the cycle. In fact, fuck anyone raised in racism that blinds themselves to their own inner demons because you do far more harm by stealing trust, respect and friendship from those you don’t deserve it from than those that blatantly post their racist beliefs on a banner. It’s why so many whites will disrespect the President but claim it’s not because they are racist. It’s why “thug” and “hood” and “ghetto” and are the new “n” words that are used in justifying unjust jail sentences and murders. It’s why the younger generation believes it’s okay to call each other the “n” word and sing it when their favorite song comes on because they falsely believe it’s not racist; and I’m talking about white kids and other ethnicities that live under white privilege that are doing as such. We aren’t the damned victims, survivors or fighters here. Please excuse me while I fucking puke.
In conclusion, these points that I made are my own. I don’t know how others have dealt with being in a similar place and if there is a cure. If there is, please let me know.